Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ben Brantley, gossip columnist

So, Ben Brantley took some lady to the theatah, and she showed her appreciation for the free ticket and sweet orchestra seats by... forgetting to silence her cell phone's "particularly obnoxious" ring tone! This led him to feel bad for her, or hope she learned her lesson, or be convinced she learned her lesson, or something like that. He... thinks people should have hated her less? He thinks it's understandable that someone who "does not as a general rule carry a phone" but on that day "felt she should be reachable" would ignore the preshow announcements, signs, etc. designed to remind people in her exact position to silence their phones? It's not really clear. But that's not what I care about anyway, because he starts off his little please-comment-on-this prompt with a BLIND ITEM:
I seethed righteously when an eminent theater writer seated in front of me took his grudging time in quieting his bleating phone, as if it were a matter he shouldn’t have had to be bothered with.
Who? WHO? Which critic who goes to plays for a living didn't have the good sense to turn off his phone or even be embarrassed when it rang? That's what I want to know. Guesses? I'd say John Heilpern (formerly of The New York Observer), except, is he "eminent"? Or maybe John Simon. Except, does he have a cell phone?

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